Shelly Sterling claims her husband Donald Sterling has dementia.
The suggestion was made during a Tuesday morning interview on NBC's "Today" show
, in which the estranged wife of the embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner attempted to explain her husband's most recent controversial comments following his much-publicized racist rant
"He's not the man I know. Or I knew. There's something wrong," Shelly Sterling told "Today's" Savannah Guthrie. "I really think personally he has dementia."
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"I don't think it happened overnight, it's been happening but nobody really knew the reason," Sterling continued. "He gets crazy and yells and screams and hollers one moment . . . And then the next moment he'll talk about something else. It's like nothing makes sense."
Shelly Sterling was referring to her husband's latest tirade, which he defended in an interview Monday with CNN's Anderson Cooper by saying
, "I don't even know how I can say words like that." The octogenarian has been under fire ever since a recording of him reportedly telling girlfriend V. Stiviano to stop taking pictures with black people and bringing them to Clippers games surfaced online.
Donald Sterling went on to blame V. Stiviano, who he said made the recording unbeknownst to him, before launching into an attack on NBA great Earvin "Magic" Johnson, whose picture with the former model apparently triggered his initial rant. Johnson, coincidentally, is also one of several individuals who's considering buying the LA Clippers when Sterling will most likely be forced to sell.
"I was baited. I mean, that's not the way I talk. I don't talk about people for one thing, ever. I talk about ideas and other things. I don't talk about people," the 80-year-old billionaire real-estate investor told Cooper.
As for Johnson, Sterling said, "What kind of a guy goes to every city, has sex with every girl, then he catches HIV? Is that someone we want to respect and tell our kids about?"
"I think he should be ashamed of himself. I think he should go into the background. But what does he do for the black people?" Sterling asked. "He doesn't do anything."
As for the claim by many that Sterling is a racist, the billionaire claimed, "I'm not a racist. I made a terrible, terrible mistake. And I'm here with you today to apologize and to ask for forgiveness for all the people that I've hurt."
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